Apr 18, 20198 min read

”Why Aren’t We Selling More Online?” Fix Your Numbers with This Checklist.

Kristian Borglund headshot

by Kristian Borglund

If your sales aren’t as good as you hope for, there are proven ways to improve the numbers. This checklist walks you through 20 elements of a high-revenue online store that are sure to get shoppers spending more.

1. In-demand products

Be sure your products are in demand in your target group. There’s a saying in marketing: If you are selling hamburgers, there’s only so much you can do if you don’t have a hungry crowd. In other words, the better you get at aligning your products to the appetite of your crowd, the better your sales will be. So, either make sure your products are aligned with your target group, or change who you target.

2. Great product descriptions/images

Before buying, most people like to imagine themselves having, using and owning the product. Do your product descriptions help them see the value of each product in their lives? Make sure you describe both features and benefits and include inspirational pictures that help with the buying decision.

3. Free delivery

It’s no secret that the words “free delivery” are a major sales converter. Many customers have become so accustomed to free delivery these days that they dismiss online stores that don’t offer it. Consider offering free delivery across the board, or for orders over a certain amount, or as a promotional tool.

4. Free returns

“What if I’m not happy with the purchase?” is a question many consumers ask themselves as they consider ordering. If they worry they will have difficulty and lose money in the end, it creates resistance. Not offering free returns means lost sales. Which would be more profitable for you: Sell more and budget for those return costs, or save those costs and have lower sales?

5. Pay later options

Will you sell more when your customers have the choice to delay their payment for a couple of weeks? You bet. Klarna’s consumer survey revealed that 44 percent of users would have abandoned their purchase if the option to pay later wasn’t available. Providing this option is a must for increasing sales. Some customers simply don’t like the idea of having their money withdrawn before they have their hands on the product, while others don’t want to wait until they get their salary in 3 days. Other consumers want to split the payment into installments to have more budget flexibility.

6. Competitive price / value for money

Can your $50 product be bought on Amazon for $30? Then you have a problem. Make sure to be price competitive – or have a brand where price becomes less relevant. One way to keep the $50 price tag is to add something extra to the purchase that consumers don’t get from Amazon.

7. Great deals / discounts

It’s no coincidence that retailers around the word jump at any chance to run promotions – be it Halloween, Valentines Day, International Women’s Day, Christmas, Singles’ Day…. and even Waffles’ Day. People are hooked on grabbing great deals. So provide those for them. Come up with plenty of seasonal campaigns to keep those sales numbers rolling.

8. Reasons to buy now – not later

This is linked to discounts, but there’s more to it than that. Do you provide a reason to buy now? Or can your visitors just as well wait and “think about it”? If there’s nothing to lose by procrastinating about their buying decision, many will wait. Retailers use “limited edition”, “extra bonus with your purchase this week” and similar tactics to evoke scarcity. Be sure your visitors know what they will gain by ordering immediately and what they will lose out on if they delay.

9. Customer reviews of you as a merchant

This is important for consumers who still haven’t bought from your store, or even heard about your brand. Can they trust you? Reviews from other customers will ease some of their anxiety. Via these reviews you can give assurance that you deliver what’s being ordered, on time, that you have great customer support, and so on.

10. Customer reviews at the product level

According to Spiegel Research Center, these reviews can drive up conversion by 270 percent. Also, nearly 95 percent of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. So if you are not including customer reviews at product level yet, consider doing so. To learn more, read our story “How customer reviews will help you sell more”.

11. Fast checkout

Can your shoppers complete a purchase in quick and smoooth way, or does it take longer? If it does take longer than that, chances are you’re losing out on sales. Long checkout processes are really bad for sales. They make shoppers change their mind, postpone their purchase until “later” (and we all know what “I’ll come back later” means), or leave their items in the cart.


12. No pre-sale registration

This is obvious. See above. If you ask your visitors to register before they can check out, you’ll lose sales.

13. Mobile-optimised checkout

The mobile share of e-commerce was 59 percent in 2017, and by 2021 it’s estimated to be 73 percent, according to Statista. So it’s worth optimising for mobile. After putting a mobile-optimised shopping solution in place, Norweigan outdoor online store Milrab increased mobile conversion rates from 35 to 60 percent.

14. One-page checkout

Sometimes consumers are very focused as they come to your store. They want to buy that One Thing, pay for it right away, and then leave. Dragging those shoppers through a shopping cart can cause friction that leads to lost sales. Give time-pressured shoppers the option to go straight to payment, without involving the cart, and see sales increase.

15. A/B-tested checkout

In order to sell more, you really should be A/B-testing everything in your online store. However, your checkout is the lowest hanging fruit. Think about it. The shopping cart is the place where purchases are closest to completion, so it makes sense that this critical last step is optimised, doesn’t it? Klarna constantly runs A/B-tests to optimise checkout solutions for increased conversion; an added convenience for online retailers who have other things to worry about.

16. Immediate recognition

Welcome your visitors as they enter your store: “Hi Kristian! Here you can pay with Visa”. This helps sales, especially if the visitor hasn’t bought anything from you before. Immediate recognition can be set up to be displayed to any visitor who has used Klarna checkout in any other store before (like 100 million consumers have so far) and has opted in to recognition.

17. Relevant shipping and payment method preselected and displayed upfront

Let your first-time visitors know upfront that your store provides their favourite delivery and payment method. This personalised message can be placed on the homepage and product pages to create a sense of familiarity. It also indicates that the shopping experience will be fast and smoooth. It’s important not to distract and confuse your customers with irrelevant payment and shipping options, as you can read more about in this article.

18. Inspirational content

This may be the right medicine for your online store if your current marketing strategy is too focused on quickly trying to turn cold traffic into buyers. That doesn’t always work. In many cases, people need to be inspired before they buy. Set aside a day or two to elaborate on how to communicate the value of your products in text, pictures, videos and audio. You can establish your own blog, YouTube-channel, podcast, forum, Facebook group, or Instagram or Pinterest account, and then integrate that content on your site. Start without getting too fancy. The founders behind online store Revolution Race had their e-commerce breakthrough after recording “life hacks” video clips related to their products, using only a shaky smartphone.

19. Brand personality

Including product pictures and descriptions and offering free delivery will only take you so far. The way colours, fonts, pictures and tone of voice play together in your online store matters too – especially in the beginning, before your potential consumers know, like and trust you. A well-thought-out brand personality builds trust and contributes to sales.

20. Entry point offers

Setting up entry point offers is another thing you can do to get hesitant first-time shoppers over the fence. After all, it’s easier for them to be consistent with their previous behaviour – buying elsewhere, at places they are more familiar with. The purpose of the entry point offer is to help visitors to cross the line and become a customer of yours. For example, you could give a first-purchase discount code, or include a welcome package for all new customers, or offer a heavily discounted or free sample product that makes the customer interested in buying the main product(s) later.